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White Paper: Self-Publishing EBooks


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A white paper on self-publishing eBooks and selling them online. To learn more and start selling eBooks, visit

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White Paper: Self-Publishing EBooks

  1. 1. PayLoadzSelf-Publishing EBooksA complete guide on creating, publishing and sellingeBooks yourselfwww.payloadz.com4/14/2013
  2. 2. Table of ContentsTHE GROWTH OF SELF-PUBLISHING 3SELF-PUBLISHING AND EBOOKS – MADE FOR EACH OTHER 3HOW TO SELF-PUBLISH EBOOKS 4Research 4Outline Development 4Writing 5Editing and Proofreading 5Cover Image 5Layout and Formats 5Marketing 6Sales and Delivery 6SALES PLATFORM FOR SELLING EBOOKS 6BIBLIOGRAPHY 7
  3. 3. The Growth of Self-PublishingAbout a decade ago, self-publishing was seen as an option for those writers who failed to secure atraditional publisher for their books. This perception has changed dramatically. Many writers nowchoose to self-publish their works, and some make and break revenue records. Self-published workshave even made it to the New York Times Best Sellers list.According to Bowker, the official ISBN Agency for the United States, self-publishing in United Statesgrew by 287 percent between 2006 and 2011. There were more than 235,000 self-published print andeBook titles in 2012.The actual figure for self-published titles is even higher than what Bowker reports because those figuresare based on the number of ISBNs issued, whereas a significantly large number of books and eBooks aresold without ISBNs.Self-publishing is not new; it has existed for centuries.Some renowned and highly successful self-published books include Laurence Sternes "Tristram Shandy" (1759), Jane Austen’s "Pride andPrejudice" (1813), "What Color is Your Parachute" by Richard Nelson Bolles (1970), "In Search ofExcellence" by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr. (1982) and "Chicken Soup for the Soul" byCanfield and Hansen (1993).More recently, some of the self-published eBooks that have become hugely popular are Hugh Howey’s"Wool" and Amanda Hocking’s "Switched."The advances in technology, rapid buildup of the self-publishing ecosystem and lots of success stories inthe last decade have fueled the growth of self-publishing, which is now a mainstream activity and abusiness opportunity worth pursuing.Self-Publishing and EBooks – Made for Each OtherSelf-publishing is not restricted to print books only. You can publish work in several formats, includingeBooks. EBooks especially have a certain advantage over other formats and specifically over print books.Here are some advantages:Low Prices: It costs more to produce a print book than an eBook. Because of the lower production costs,eBooks are offered to readers at significantly lower prices. The lower price, along with comparablequality of content, makes eBooks a preferred format over print books.No Rejections: In the traditional publishing world, publishers are the curators and the final wordregarding whether a book is worth selling. That results in rejections of books, including some greatquality works. Authors no longer have to be at the mercy of publishers and rely on their guesses aboutthe success of any book. Authors can now self-publish ebooks and sell to readers directly, engage withthem and take their feedback. The feedback from readers is the real gauge that authors can use torefine their work and generate more sales.
  4. 4. Virtually Unlimited Shelf Space: In the traditional retail model, books have to fight for shelf space, andbooks that don’t sell well are soon taken off the shelves. EBooks provide self-publishers an opportunityto have a shelf space for virtually unlimited amount of time and be discovered by readers.Never Out of Print: An eBook never goes out of print until the author stops selling it. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores return unsold books to publishers, and the books with high number of returns areforced out of print. With eBooks, authors don’t have to worry about that and can continue selling theirworks for as long as they wish.Going Global is Quick: Traditional publishing often restricts authors from catering to readers in otherareas of the world. Self-published eBook authors have the flexibility to be available to readers across theglobe. An eBook can be made available on various online stores in a matter of few hours with the help ofthe Internet and new technology.Perpetual Improvement: An author has complete independence in terms of updating an eBook as manytimes as required. Authors can change the cover image or can add a new chapter. EBook authors enjoyflexibility.How to Self-Publish EBooksSelf-publishing eBooks, though easy, is not something that anyone can do without some knowledge. It isa business and needs to be operated as one. A self-publisher has to manage and possibly do all thework, which can include topic research, eBook cover design, writing and distribution. While you may betempted to do all that on your own, it is wise to use specialized people, services and tools to do tasksthat you are not an expert in.Heres what you need to do to self-publish and sell eBooks:ResearchFind a topic that readers are interested in and will be willing to pay for. If you already have a readymanuscript and want to get it published, you can skip this step. But, it is important to find out the size ofthe market and the opportunity. To research the market, find out what people are buying on websites,look at the bestsellers lists, conduct a survey on social networks, and join discussion groups and readingnetworks.When you are researching, look at the e-reading devices that your target readers use. For example,business books may be read by professionals on their smartphones, whereas fiction books may be readby people on devices like iPad or Kindle.Outline DevelopmentAn outline is the skeleton of book. The outline should be developed based on the findings from yourresearch. An outline generally consists of everything you want to tell readers. That includes the title, the
  5. 5. subtitle and chapter headings. The goal during this step should be to put down everything on paper. Itdoes not have to be in order at this point. The order and contents of the outline might change once youstart writing and as more thoughts develop.WritingWriting the eBook begins after you have developed the outline. You may use any word processing toolsuch as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or any other tool for writing your book. The goal at this stageshould be to write the content for the sections of the outline and to make the text connect to and flowfrom one section of the outline to another. Organize and edit the outline to structure the book. Removeany redundant parts or information that isnt useful. Some eBook sellers hire ghostwriters, while theyact as the guiding force behind the content.Editing and ProofreadingEditing is a specialized task; not every writer makes a good editor. Editing is one of the most importantsteps in making the eBook worthy for readers, yet many self-published authors often overlook that part.Hire an editor for your book. An experienced editor or an editor with extensive knowledge regardingyour books subject is best.Cover ImageThe cover image has the potential to make an eBook successful. A great cover image is what leads acasual browser to open the page of your eBook and possibly to buy it. A well-designed cover image alsosets the reader’s expectation about the content and quality of the book. Consider hiring a professionaldesigner to create the cover image.Layout and FormatsThe eBook layout involves creating the interior of the eBook with the text, graphics and photos. It alsoinvolves choosing the right font type, color and size along with the background color. All those elementsshould look good on e-reading devices with screen sizes ranging from 3-inch mobile phone screens to30-inch desktop screens. The reader might also zoom in and zoom out on each page.An eBook can be sold in various formats such as PDF, .Mobi and ePub. Depending on your target marketand your own preference, you may choose one or more formats for publishing your eBook. The PDFformat is one of the most popular and universally acceptable.With some technical knowledge that can be gained from reading online and with some effort, you cancreate an eBook layout and convert it in different formats yourself. There are specialized servicesavailable for help that you may consider hiring to help with layout, conversion or both.
  6. 6. MarketingThe self-publishing business needs good marketing to generate sales. Marketing should really beginbefore you have the edited manuscript; however, it’s never too late to begin. When you are marketingeBooks, your goal is to connect with readers, which requires you to be visible where your readers are.Here are some of the marketing activities you should do:Create a blog and engage with the visitorsCreate a Facebook pageIdentify other social networks where your readers are likely to be, and create profilesBuild an email list to communicate with readersJoin forums, groups and clubs related to books, and participateConnect with book review bloggersSend press releasesWrite guest posts on related blogsSales and DeliverySome self-published authors sell eBooks from their website, some sell through marketplaces like eBay,and others sell through online retailers like Amazon. As a self-publisher, you can display and sell fromthe places of your choice, and you can use multiple sales fronts to maximize sales.The sale and distribution of eBooks involve collecting payment for the eBook from buyers and deliveringthe eBook. For selling an eBook, you will need a place to display it, a storage space to store it, paymentgateways to collect payment from customers, and a mechanism to deliver the eBook to the buyer aftercompletion of purchase. One way of doing that is to use individual services to perform the tasks ofdisplay, payment collection and delivery. Another and more efficient way is to use a sales platform thatprovides all those services and more in a single package.Sales Platform for Selling EBooksA sales platform helps you sell eBooks, processes payments and delivers the eBooks to buyers.A sales platform makes it simple for customers to buy eBooks. In the beginning, you might have only oneor two eBooks to sell. You can always add more eBooks as you get them finished. Whether buyers findyour eBook on your website or through your affiliate marketing on Amazon and other bookseller pages,you need tools to make the purchase process functional. Buying on Amazon through your site, withoutleaving Amazon, is possible with the right sales platform. The buying process becomes streamlined.With automated delivery, buyers receive eBooks immediately instead of waiting for you to process theirpurchase requests.The sales platform that you choose should have the following features:
  7. 7.  An easy-to-use process to upload and publish your eBook sales listing A place that allows selling the eBook on your website, other sites and popular eBook stores Marketing tools for increasing popularity and sales Automated delivery of eBooks Multiple payment gateway choicesPayLoadz is one of the sales platforms available to you. It is a full-service sales platform for sellingeBooks as well as other digital content such as audiobooks and videos. On this site, uploading youreBook, creating a store listing and marketing the book are extremely easy and quick.Writing an eBook takes time and dedication. To ensure this hard work is not lost, you need a salesplatform and marketing techniques that help readers find and buy your eBook. You can then becomesuccessful making money by selling eBooks.Find us at Facebook: (2012, 10 24).Self-Publishing Sees Triple-Digit Growth in Just Five Years, Says Bowker®,from